Nowhere is bureaucracy more bureaucratic than in New York City, and no bureaucracy is more entrenched and immutable than the New York Board of Education's. It is harder to remove a bad teacher in NYC than a bad politician. Politicos, after all, don't have a union like the American Federation of Teachers. In fact, bad teachers are rarely fired because it is too costly and complicated a procedure. Instead, they are "exiled" to a school which exists solely to house miscreant teachers. There are no students at this school because it is their interaction with students that got them in trouble in the first place. They remain there, doing nothing but collecting their full salary, till they reach their retirement day, whether months or decades away. It was to this school for incorrigible teachers that I assumed Beacon Street's Nathan Turner was headed. I know that he wouldn't move to Cuba to work as a teacher there. He may be idealistic or cynical but he isn't stupid.
The teacher who broke city and state regulations as well as U.S. laws by taking excursions of schoolchildren to Communist Cuba as if he were running a travel agency from Beacon School has resigned. So has another teacher who served as a chaperones on those trips, Geoffrey Hunt. In such cases a resignation usually comes because what is known is the least there is to know. Whatever the reasons for their departure, students in New York City are free of one noxious influence, anyway.
The question I have is whether his former classroom, festooned with posters of Castro and Che Guevara, is still a shrine to Cuba's henchmen? Or has it been redecorated with posters of Barack Obama? Well, at least we know that those will be coming down in November when Barack Obama joins the other "gods that failed."
Babysitting the Beacon School Bitongos